Failure to Protect: How Tracking Refugees into Temporary Work Violates Economic Rights
Refugees often imagine resettlement to the USA to be a solution to their problems, but the process of resettlement is full of social, cultural and economic hurdles. Through an ethnographic analysis of a resettlement agency, this research shows that refugee employment specialists consistently track refugees into low-wage and contingent work even when refugees have strong language skills, experience in professional work, and advanced degrees. Bureaucratic reporting structures and quota requirements create pressures on refugee employment specialists to place refugees in jobs quickly which hinders them from working towards meaningful economic self-sufficiency. The denial of refugee autonomy in pursuit of work and economic freedoms is a human rights violation facilitated by a government failure to protect them from third-party exploitation. This article argues that the chronic underemployment of refugees exemplifies a common, but understudied type of economic rights violation.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Warren, Kamryn, "Failure to Protect: How Tracking Refugees into Temporary Work Violates Economic Rights" (2021). Faculty Publications. 67.